Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Father Daughter Dance 2016

This little girl loves her daddy something fierce. So getting to spend an evening together just the two of them is a magical, enchanting evening. She loves fancy events, getting dressed up, getting a corsage, going to dinner...absolutely everything about the night. And this year the Father Daughter Dance was a Paris theme...could it get any more Abby than that?!

She is also a creature of habit like her mama. Just like last year she requested a hair style like Belle. Which is hard to do with her fine, thin hair...but it turned out simply beautiful.

It's a tradition that Andy gift her with something special to wear the night of the dance. This year he gave her these gorgeous pink hair combs.

We painted her nails a soft pink and added a glitter top coat. She wanted the ribbons from her gift tied onto her wrist. And she wore a fancy dress gifted by a neighbor! Definitely a sentimental gal through and through.
And just like last year, she requested to go to dinner at Noodles for Mac 'n cheese and fancy soda (vanilla root beer).

Such a special night.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mostly Sewing & Gardening

The Easter Bunny brought the kids crystal growing kits. What the hell was the Easter Bunny thinking?! They obsessed over them till we finally did them just so they would stop asking to do them. And these crazies dealing with chemicals was super fun & totally stress free let me tell you. Ha.

The Easter Bunny needs to stick to candy.

After following Honey B Macarons on IG for months, I was finally able to make time to visit her boutique! Such a treat! The orange dreamsicle was my fave, and I've been daydreaming about them every since! The owner is such a sweet, humble lady. The kind of person I want to be so very successful with her dreams.

The last issue of Southern Living was made just for me. From strawberries to chickens to back yard fire pits, it had my heart with every page.

I got a sudden impulse to sew the other night & sewed for 2 days till it was out of my system. I started with wanting to make Ab a simple knot top for her lemonade stand adventures this summer...

But she wanted a dress instead. Can you imagine that dress with her yellow polka dot rain boots?! Be still my yellow, lemon, polka dot, rain boots loving heart!

Then I decided Ab needed a baseball shirt for our summer baseball adventures (Andy & kids watching eating concession stand food) & that I could just whip an Ellie top up by looking at one of her MJ tops. Right. I made it pretty far, but I couldn't figure out how they got the elastic sandwiched in the back with the seams all nice & perfect & encased inside the I bought a pattern off etsy at 11pm just to read how the heck they did the back. I could never write mind doesn't reverse steps the right way. After reading the pattern, I can honestly say I never would have figured that out just by looking at a shirt. What the what.

It was a learning process. I wish I didn't lose so much of the gingham waist band when sewing the bodice to bottom part, but now I know to make it taller next time. Meh.

Naturally the gingham tie in the back is my favorite part. But I love how it turned classic all-American.

I planted over 350 seeds in pods to go in our garden plot in the community garden! Soooooo excited for our gardening adventures this summer! Can't wait to meet my fellow gardeners next week!

I looked out the window one day just in time to see Brody pee into the back of that Tonka truck right there. Awesome. There are so many things you just don't realize you need to explicitly say to your children. Because what person in their right mind would think to do the things they think to do?!

I was tagged in a post on IG about this book & decided to read it. It was okay. Not life changing. But it does make me think I could write a book. In between PTO, AHG, DI, tutoring, working part time from home, laundry, yelling at my kids not to pee into toys in the back yard I could totally write a book. So many things stirring in my heart.

I planted these seeds on a Sunday, & they sprouted by Tuesday! 2 days. That is so mind blowing to me. That such little, tiny things can transform and burst into life in such a short time when nurtured & given the right conditions. And then grow into something that sustains our life. I should live on a farm for reals. I would thrive at farm living.

These are some seeds Ab planted for her God Is Love book after reading about how God loves us so much he created the world and everything we need to survive in plants. There were evenings when we were pushing to finish that book before her deadline & it felt like just one.more.thing, but I'm so glad we made it a priority amidst the nightly chaos. Because now she has it on her bedside table & looks back to think about the discussions we had from it. And it really sinks in to form part of who she is becoming. So although we hustled to do the readings that day & dumped those seeds in that pot & threw it up in the kitchen window & I felt too tired to even do mattered that we did it.

This boy digging in the dirt every day. Always up for the next outdoor adventure. He told us at the dinner table the other day that he wished he lived in the he could pee outside. He would have gotten along well with his Uncle James. Both fearless, wild spirits at heart yet sensitive souls. Pee outside. Seriously.

The other night the perfect spring thunderstorm was brewing. Cool air was blowing through the open windows. & it just felt good. To feel the wind. To smell the air before it rains. To snuggle up on the couch under a quilt, in a cozy sweater, with hot tea and pinning beautiful things like wild flowers.

These guys are growing so fast! It's fascinating. Brody asks everyday if they made food he can eat yet. Patience child. Patience.

AJ makes a cup of coffee for his mama every morning & helps make lunches & snacks. Teamwork gets us through the mornings. He says, "Another morning down...only # more mornings to go till summer." This boy totally gets it.

Another spring blizzard. So.ready.for.summer.


Thursday, March 31, 2016




Think Good Thoughts by Colbie Caillat

Be My Forever by Christina Perri

When I'm With You by JJ Heller

WATCHING...just finished season 4 of House of Cards...might catch up on Fixer Upper's, but mostly feeling the need to break up with TV for a little while. It doesn't make us better people. It rarely inspires or motivates us. It's more that we watch it because it is there. Seriously pondering replacing it with a cabinet for our board games. Wouldn't get rid of it all the way. I love a good movie night. But maybe just relocating it so the room we spend the most time in our evenings in isn't centered around it. It's a thought that has been tugging at me lately.

BUYING...Katie Daisy's book! My favorite pages are How to be still, How to evoke a daydream, & that strawberry pie recipe is sooooo happening this summer!

EATING...excited to try a new macaroon shop in town tomorrow! And the kids' Easter candy. Chocolate is my kryptonite. strawberry quilt I brought out for spring! Pandora One without commercials! Cotton candy & old fashion popcorn machines...might need to invest in these for this summer!

WEARING...still wearing tall boots and sweaters with all this spring snow. Blah.

LAUGHING AT...Average Parent Problems on Instagram.

GETTING READY...for summer!!! I want to wear flip flops and be outside and have BBQ's...instead I just daydream & explode my Summer board on Pinterest.





Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2 Holidays & Spring Break

I'm always thinking of Mary Flair projects and slowly one by one we (Andy) make them happen. My newest project is to take out the old scary propane heater and vent and replace the empty hole with a bulletin board for photos and notes...way more practical than a heater. Ha! And of course such a bulletin board needs a Mary Flair garland!

This little guy is hilarious. Every since the hot water heater flood he is a bit obsessed with hot water heaters....drawing books of hot water heaters for his preschool teacher...talking about how our basement flood was like when God flooded the world...right. He says, "There was water everywhere and toys floated dried up and then rainbows everywhere like God's promise...boom rainbows, rainbows, rainbows! And when it was all over we needed a new hot water heater".

I like the Brody version.

Love me some holiday jams. And Dr. Pepper. Always Dr. Pepper.

My St. Patty's Day crew. We had corn beef and cabbage for dinner and tried some Irish step dancing afterwards. We were pretty good.
We love the neighborhood Easter egg hunt every year. This year Brody decided to dress up as the Easter Bunny...totally fitting. And he was the only one not freezing his booty off.

My vanity is always a cluttered, happy place. Journals, coffee cups, lots of kid made jewelry...a beautiful mess.

Did I tell you guys we got a community garden plot?! It's as big as our living room! I'm a wee bit overwhelmed by that thought, but crazy excited for a summer of garden adventures!

Our spring break camping trip was canceled due to weather concerns. So we just chilled most of spring break. Which was a refreshing change from the daily grind.

It snowed the first day of spring break. Brody still had school and Andy already took the day off for our camping trip. We ended up dropping Brody off at school and heading to Starbucks and Barnes & Noble. We were kinda out of our groove but enjoyed hot drinks and looking at books. I could spend hours and hours just walking around any book store.

Abby was begging for a sewing project, so ventured to the basement to go fabric "shopping" and made some hair scrunchies.

She just wanted to keep making them and making them and making them.

5 peeps up in Mary Flair gets a little cozy. We modified the original twin bed last year so that the couch could pull out into a full bed. That is where Andy & I sleep. Then Abby & Brody sleep on a twin blow up mattress where the table comes out. And AJ, wanting his own space away from his brother & sister, prefers to sleep on the floor in the isle. Which he doesn't mind, but it leaves zero room for walking space and causes problems. We had to figure something out. So after a bit of research we decided MF needed a bunk bed!

The bunk can be pushed in during travel and used as a shelf like the pic below or pulled out to become a twin bed at night! Perfect! We just need to paint it.

A massive spring blizzard means I get to wear my polka dot yellow rain boots!

We had a movies & pj day over spring break and dyed Easter eggs one day.

I found this pic of me for the kids of Easter when I was about 2.

These two got themselves ready to play in the snow. Abby didn't notice she put on Andy's snow pants and Brody's coat is upside down...

Brody Bear is my snuggler...always ready to cuddle up with his mama.

Can I just say that I am sooooo ready for consistent warm weather and being outside...
I day dream and pin a thousand pins to my summer board every day till I feel like I'm going explode from being inside. I want flip flops and strawberry wine and days in the backyard.
I resisted MJ for a long time till this last release. In my longing for summer the strawberries & gingham got to me & I just couldn't resist any longer!


Thursday, March 24, 2016


I went to Las Vegas for a photography expo the morning after the DI tournament. I was too exhausted & busy to think about the trip until I was on the plane. I'm not gonna lie...I've never been to Vegas...hate traveling alone & was pretty much scared sh*#less. If someone would have said boo to me within the first half hour of landing I probably would have wet my pants & threw up at the same time. I made it to the hotel & met up with Sharon and felt suddenly ok..still outside my comfort zone, but safe.

We attended a lot of awesome classes with great speakers, got to see some print competition submissions being judged...which was crazy interesting, walked around the expo and got to touch & feel print products...which I love...I'm such a texture girl, listened to an awesome key note speaker very passionate about believing in your worth, had yummy free coffee and cupcakes...that I elegantly dropped all over myself & even managed to coat Sharon with...I'm the complete opposite of coordinated when it comes to eating around other people...a super awesome talent that I have learned to just warn people about rather than overcome. Seriously if you see me at a social gathering that involves food...I will have something spilled down the front of me.
Went to an opening night party...where I learned Vegas drinks are MUCH stronger than the drinks I'm used to at bible study. Oh Vegas.

We walked around and saw lots of gorgeous hotels and fun shops...

We attended a wedding and reception of complete strangers...which was super weird, but fun...

They had show girls for photo ops at the wedding and a Vegas show girl...ha!
Then I caught my shuttle back to the airport & flew home super exhausted & excited & inspired...not just for work stuff...but I flew to Vegas by myself, and I survived! I listened to amazing people tell their stories...& something started to stir in me that maybe I have a story to tell & maybe just maybe it takes leaving our comfort zones to really start feeling confident enough to share our stories.

I chatted a little with a lady sitting next to me on the plane and ended up giving her one of my all-time favorite books because she said her book club always picks super boring books. I'm pretty sure she won't find this one boring. Maybe she'll pass it along to a random stranger on a plane one day too.

Then I got home to my suburban traditional decorated home cluttered with toys and kid art to find out our water heater went out and flooded the basement that evening. It felt good to be home as a mama was exactly where I was meant to be, and although the water heater thing sucked...all I could do was laugh, feel blessed knowing we could replace it, hug my family and wait till the next day to take a shower. It was a good first trip to Vegas.